ahhhh……kitcheree

by goodnessis

Kitcheree takes me only 20 mins in the pressure cooker, and only 45 minutes on the stovetop.  I will explain the recipe on the stovetop, as not too many people use a pressure cooker.  Kitcheree, to me, is a lifesaver when inspiration is missing and I am too tired to even think about cooking.

Kitcheree is at the core of Ayurvedic healing.  There are endless variations to this dish, all dependent on the herbs, spices and vegetables used.  Kitcheree is the primary food source in Pancha Karma – Ayurvedic cleansing therapy, because of its ease of digestion and assimilation.  Whenever my tummy is feeling sensitive, kitcheree is always a medicine to my body.  It is not the most visually appealing of dishes, but it has a soothing quality and tastes really good.

Just a quick note on asafoetida.  I normally do not use this substance which I must confess has a dreadful stink (said by some to resemble rotting garlic) due to their sulphur compounds.  Asafoetida is available in solid wax-like pieces or in powder form.  Used sparingly, it gives a flavour similar to garlic and shallots in vegetables, stews and sauces.  The smell quickly disappears with cooking.  It is a frequent ingredient in Indian dishes, especially as a replacement for garlic and onion which is not used by yogis in their cooking.  I am not sure if you have noticed, but all my recipes use no onion or garlic. Garlic and onion are avoided because they can agitate or excite the body and make it difficult for meditation.  They stimulate the nervous system.

Because of it strong flavour use very sparingly.  If you have some already and it sits in the kitchen, another practical use for it is as a natural pesticide to ward off unwanted animals in the garden.  Mix 1 ounce of powdered asafoetida with 1 1/2 quarts of water, shake hard, then apply around plants.

Kitcheree

My kitcheree recipe really resembles an Indian version of risotto.  For a lighter summer kitcheree see recipe here or here.

1/2 cup mung dahl (preferably soaked overnight)

1/2 cup brown basmati  rice

3 cups filtered water

3 cardamon pods

1 tblsp  fresh ginger,  finely chopped

3 tblsp ghee

1 tspn cumin seeds

1 whole large red chilli

1/2 tspn turmeric

1/4 tspn asafetida powder (optional)

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 cups cauliflower, trimmed and cut in small florets

1/2 cup chopped coriander

salt and coarsely ground pepper

Rinse the rice and dahl in several changes of water and drain.

Place the rice, mung beans, cardamon pods and 3 cups of water in a saucepan and simmer for 30/40 mins or until the mung beans are soft, have broken down, and the liquid has absorbed.  You may have to add water as needed.

Heat 3 tablespoons of ghee in a heavy bottomed saucepan. When hot, add the cumin, ginger and whole  chilli.  When the cumin turns medium brown, add the turmeric and asafetida.  Add the cauliflower and tomatoes and simmer, covered, stirring every 5 mins until the cauliflower is cooked.  This should take about 20 mins.  Add the dahl and rice mixture.  Season with salt, pepper and finely chopped fresh coriander and mix gently.

At serving time, garnish with fresh coriander and drizzle with ghee.  Add a dollop of  spicy yoghurt and avocado mixture.  Perfect for a cold Winter’s day to warm you through from top to toe.

Goodness shared from Stacey